Advert. no. 2023_0003
Working at ESO

Are you interested in working in areas of frontline technology and in a stimulating international environment? Do you feel your profile matches our requirements? Learn more about our current vacancies and apply online. Read more..

The European Organisation for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere (ESO) is the foremost intergovernmental astronomy organisation in Europe and the world's most productive ground-based astronomical observatory. ESO carries out an ambitious programme focused on the design, construction and operation of powerful ground-based observing facilities enabling astronomers to make important scientific discoveries.


ESO operates three unique world-class observing sites in northern Chile: La Silla, Paranal and Chajnantor (home to ALMA and APEX), and the ESO Headquarters are located in Garching, near Munich, Germany.


At Paranal, ESO operates the Very Large Telescope, the world's most advanced visible-light astronomical observatory, and will host and operate the southern array of the Cherenkov Telescope Array, the world's largest and most sensitive high energy gamma-ray observatory. ESO is a major partner in ALMA, the largest astronomical project in existence. And on Cerro Armazones, ESO is building the 39-metre Extremely Large Telescope (ELT), which will become "the world's biggest eye on the sky" and whose operations will be fully integrated into the Paranal Observatory.


Due to a project between ESO Supernova Planetarium & Visitor Centre, in Garching, near Munich, Germany, and the Forscherstation, Heidelberg, ESO is advertising the position of:

Education Specialist

(Kindergarten/Elementary School)


Vacancy closed on 17/03/2023

Deadline 17/03/2023

The ESO Supernova is an education facility, based at the ESO Headquarters site in Garching, which attracts approximately 60.000 visitors per year. Around 10.000 visitors per year are young people visiting as part of their education. Demand for education visits continues to be high.

Forscherstation Heidelberg aims to inspire educational specialists and teachers from nurseries, day care centres, after-school care centres and elementary schools in natural sciences so that they can discover the world together with children. To achieve this, Forscherstation trusts in the training of educators, the provision of appropriate enquiry-based concepts, applied research and the education of young scientists.

The project "Fostering early science education at the ESO Supernova in cooperation with the Forscherstation" aims to strengthen and expand the education offer of the ESO Supernova, especially for children aged 3-12 as well as educators and primary school teachers.

Main Duties and Responsibilities:

The Education Specialist will be in charge of leading the afore mentioned project at the ESO Supernova (ES). He/she will work on the development and delivery of enquiry-based educational materials suitable for children aged 3 to 12 years, linked both to school curricula and to the topics presented in the planetarium shows and astronomy exhibition of the ES. They will be the day-to-day contact person for the schools and responsible for the educator trainings taking place at the ES. The main tasks include:

  • Management of the information and advertising structure for the Forscherstation training courses
  • Establishment and support of a small equipment loan service (including giving advice)
  • Coordination and planning of training courses for educators (in collaboration with Forscherstation)
  • Development and delivery of training courses for educators
  • Development and delivery of ESO Supernova educational programme for children aged 3 to 12 years, including hands-on workshops, guided tours and planetarium shows
  • Representing Forscherstation and ESO Supernova at conferences, meetings etc.

Reports to:

ESO Education Coordinator

Key Competences and Experience:

Essential Competences and Experience

  • At least 3 years of professional experience in a day-care centre, elementary school or similar education facility
  • Comprehensive understanding of the education system in Bavaria, Germany
  • Comprehensive understanding of didactic methods for young children
  • Expertise in the field of natural science
  • Independent, structured work and social skills
  • Confident handling of Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint)
  • Technical affinity (operation of the planetarium - training will be provided)
  • Clear, precise and engaging written and verbal communication skills

Desirable Competences and Experience

  • Expertise in training and supporting other educators/teachers (e.g. delivering professional development workshops)
  • Expertise in the field of astronomy topics
  • Experience with extracurricular learning locations such as museums
  • Understanding of Kindergarten and Primary education system in wider Germany and Europe


University degree (or comparable) preferably in elementary and childhood education or primary education (essential), with a focus on the natural sciences (desirable).

Language skills:

The position requires fluency in German and in English.

Remuneration and Contract:

We offer an attractive remuneration package including a competitive salary (tax free), comprehensive pension scheme and medical, educational and other social benefits, as well as financial help in relocating your family.

ESO aims to support members of personnel in maintaining a good work-life balance ( between their professional and private life. ESO is also committed to offering family-friendly support (, creating a work environment and policies which allow staff to balance their professional and private responsibilities through flexible working arrangements and financial support for families.

The contract is for a fixed term duration of two years and is subject to successful completion of the probation period. It is part of the time limited project between ESO and the Forscherstation and subject to the continued funding of this project. There may be a possibility of extension(s) subject to individual performance, organisational requirements within the project between ESO and the Forscherstation, and as defined in the applicable policies and staff rules and regulations. The contract is not eligible for indefinite appointment. For any further information, please visit ESO's conditions of employment ( Please note that the contract policy and in particular the regulations concerning fixed-term and indefinite contracts are currently under review which may lead to changes in the contractual conditions applicable to this position.

Duty Station:

Garching near Munich, Germany

Career Path: III


If you are interested in working in areas of frontline science and technology and in a stimulating international environment, please visit for further details.

Applicants are invited to apply online at Applications must be completed in English and should include a motivation letter and CV. The CV may also be submitted in German. Within your CV, please provide the names and contact details of three persons familiar with your work and willing to provide a recommendation letter upon request. Referees will not be contacted without your prior consent.

Privacy notice: please be advised that besides the Privacy Notice of the ESO Recruitment Portal, the personal data of the applicants to this vacancy will be shared with the Forscherstation for the purpose of the recruitment.

Closing date for applications is 17 March 2023.

Interviews are expected to take place on 27 and 28 March 2023 and will be conducted in both English and German.

ESO Values

An important element in any successful employment relationship is harmony in values between an organisation and its people.

The ESO Values are:

ESO strives for excellence through innovation.

ESO provides outstanding services to its communities.

ESO fosters diversity & inclusion.

ESO believes in the key role of sustainability for its future.

Achieving the above are recognized as only possible on the basis of personal values and attitudes that we expect from our employees: respect, integrity, accountability, commitment, collaboration, and clear & open communication.

Applicants to any ESO role are asked to reflect on their affinity with these values and advised they may be asked about them if called for interview.


ESO has established diversity as an important value of the Organisation, is committed to providing an equal opportunities environment and is actively seeking to promote a diverse, equitable and inclusive workforce.

No nationality is in principle excluded, however, recruitment preference will be given to nationals of Australia, Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and Chile irrespective of gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity or religion.

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